Kent residents say goodbye to Damon’s, welcome to Coach’s

Ben Breier

The half rack of ribs comes with your choice of two sides, which can include a baked potato. Moderately priced and messy, the ribs make for a filling dinner. A whole rack can be the perfect answer for a hearty appetite or split between two friends.

Credit: Ben Breier

This summer, tragedy struck the city of Kent: Damon’s restaurant shut down.

No longer can a student head down 59 toward Wal-Mart on any given Monday night and bathe in all-you-can-eat-ribs.

The replacement is a new restaurant called Coach’s. The restaurant contains a similar menu and atmosphere.

For an appetizer, I tried the Assistant Coach’s Sampler ($9.49), which included some questionable choices. While the onion rings and mozzarella sticks were standard fare, the jalapeAño poppers and deep-fried chicken quesadillas were absolutely disgusting. The worst of the bunch was the cheeseburger fries – upon breaking open one of these bad boys, you get a first-hand view of what a clogged artery might look like.

With Damon’s being well-known for their ribs, it was only natural that ribs were the next thing I tried. The ribs ($10.99 ƒ_” half rack) were fairly good, if a bit tangy and typical.

Damon’s rib sauce was spectacular, the sauce used on Coach’s ribs is fairly boring. Although the meat was of good quality, the sauce tasted as if it was bought at Acme.

Next up was a garlic shrimp dish ($13.99), which was mediocre as well. The most shocking thing about this dish was the incredibly small portion: For $13.99, one would expect to leave the restaurant full. While the garlic shrimp dish will certainly sustain some, it will leave others wanting more.

On the plus side, the restaurant still retains some of the great things about the Damon’s atmosphere, such as the gigantic televisions broadcasting sports. NTN trivia is still available.

Also, the service I experienced at Coach’s was pleasant. The server was cordial and nice, despite not being much of a conversationalist. If there’s one thing Coach’s has over Damon’s – it’s the service, hands down.

In the end, service isn’t enough. Customers who were loyal to Damon’s will leave Coach’s with a feeling of disappointment. While Coach’s isn’t a terrible restaurant, one can’t help but shake the feeling that this is just the red-headed stepchild of its predecessor.

Rest in peace, Damon’s.

Contact ALL correspondent Ben Breier at [email protected].